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February 19th, 2009
10:49 PM ET

On the Radar: Foreclosure backlog

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

The housing crisis is pounding the Florida court system like a Category 5 hurricane; the state has one of the highest default rates in the country.

The state’s legal system requires judges to sign off on foreclosures. With so many Floridians losing their homes, cases are piling up and overwhelming the courts. To tackle the backlog, judges are hearing so-called “rocket dockets” of close to 1,000 cases a day. Some hearings last less than 20 seconds.

Imagine the scenario: A struggling homeowner shows up with reams of mortgage statements and other documentation, prepared to explain his plight to the judge. But he judge doesn’t have time to look at your papers. Next!

Given that reality, we’re wondering if Floridians believe President Obama’s $75 billion housing plan will actually help them?

Gary Tuchman digs deeper Friday.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Cate Vojdik
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Katerina

    Dear Anderson:
    It is a bit irritating to see my hard-earned tax money going to some irresponsible "homeowners" in default on their mortgage, especially those who “own” huge mansions, 5-6 bedroom monstrosities: something they knew they could not ever afford. I own a small 2-bedroom townhouse, and I have been paying my mortgage on time for 7 years.... I did not purchase a huge palace and wait for someone to pay my bills! By the way, I think that these monstrous buildings should never have been built. I have a great solution to the housing crisis: put people to work by converting these grotesque mansions into multi-family homes, and sell them in parts to low income and middle-class families!

    February 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  2. Lisa in CA

    I keep wondering why so many people are upset that they may be helping their fellow American/neighbor yet grudgingly condone bailing out the same financial institutions that made those loans to begin with. Why must one set of people be held accountable and another not? If you're mad about bailing out homeowners (which, BTW, would somewhat halt the decline in value of your home so there is a plus side), why are you not just as outraged at bailing out the banks?

    February 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  3. geo

    to gf, los angeles
    You’re absolutely right. However from the Democrats perspective this bail out will mean more votes, more votes mean securing their political power. The inadvertent action is that some people may be helped but if you read the bill most people won't qualify. Again though the purpose is the illusion that the Democrats care even though don't they are just trying to secure more votes for the 2010 election of Congress. It's simple in 2010 we vote these clowns out, elect the new and improved Republican party that will at least provide a check and balance against the abuse we the responsible and self reliant citizens of this nation are subjected too!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  4. GF, Los Angeles

    I am seriously ticked off that my taxpayer money is being used to help people save a house they could never afford when I don't even have a house myself! I saw on the Today Show a group of neighbors who were being foreclosed on. It was their choice to buy a house that cost $230k and is now worth $65k. Why is it our problem that they feel they should walk away from having to make the expensive payments? They chose to do it so let them fail. The irresponsible has to learn a lesson but not off the backs of the responsible.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  5. The Bishop

    Each and every bank/lender who holds the notes of homeowners have in fact materially altered the instrument. Material Alteration is when the instrument changes its function and operation without the consent of all parties under the contract. The note itself is a negotiable instrument, and the holder of these note convert them into what functions and operates like a reusable check. Here around Atlanta, when the borrower brings an action before the courts disputing any and all copies, the court will not compel the bank to bring the original instrument to the table. If it is the bank that brings an action, and the homeowner demands validation requiring that the original be brought before the court, until the bank brings forth the original, the court lack jurisdiction of the subject matter. However, these crooked courts around Atlanta are in deed the problem. The lenders refuse to bring in the contract, and the court rule and grants judgment in their favor which is unlawful when there is no original contract before the court.
    We know just why the lenders will not bring the note before the court. It is because of the alteration made to the instrument. They have stamped the note which says "PAID TO THE ORDER OF THE BANK" and "WITHOUT RECOURSE" showing that they have received repeatedly, full payments secretly under the table. This conversion is allowed by the common banking practices, however, it is unlawful for the lender to be paid the full face amount of the instrument while it remains in their care and custody, and while on the other hand receiving monthly payments from the borrower. If you need proof, I will forward some of the note's signature page showing you the stamps evidencing the unlawful payments the lenders secretly receive. But the real problem is that the court are not in honor denying jury trials, refusing to compel and ordering the contract to the table of the court, and to top it all off, these court are not being courts of record. They do not have a court reporter present which nullifies an appeals because there are no transcripts. One cannot argue anything at the appellant court which was not argued at the lower court and these courts are in dishonor and this behavior must stop. This is why we are sending you this short letter, to expose the crookedness these courts are playing with the lives of homeowners not requiring the original contract when it was timely disputed on the record.
    We here in Atlanta are tired of this behavior from the courts denying us our remedy. I can provide you with information that will compel you to seek further intro the fact that ALL LENDER secretly receive credit/moneys which will never be credited to the borrower's account.
    If you would like more info, send me a request and you just won't believe it. Yep, you will inquire about your note! Yes, they have converted your note too into a reusable check.
    the Bishop:

    February 20, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  6. AliPA

    Do the people who love to criticize this foreclosure bail-out realize its money coming out of the 2nd half of the bank bail-out money which has already been allocated? The same bank bail-out money, which the 1st half was primarily spent on big fat-cat bankers and CEOs (who by the way, knew exactly what financial chaos they were putting this country in with there risky lending and speculating over the last few years and that went on junkits with their new found money!?!?!)
    With that said, I would MUCH RATHER have this money, or part of it, go to my neighbors whom I WOULD give the benefit of doubt. If they are in trouble, it may be because they have lost their job and can't get another, or they did get over their heads because they may have wanted a better school district for their kids or a safer area to live in or just got plain scammed!

    February 20, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  7. Geo

    I'm a homeowner too and have been affected as well. However it has become obvious that these bailouts are not working. Let me ask you something if the home values have decline 20% since 2006 and are expected to decline another 16% how is it then that anyone will qualify when your home value has to be within 5% of what you owe vs. the value? These are nothing more than ideas design to fail and encourage false hope.

    His rant is that once again the achievers are paying the price for the under achievers. Eventually it will become senseless to be an achiever when the Government is willing to make you dependent on them in order to get your vote and retain there power.

    The market dictates the market not the Government, Government intervention is going to prolong this recession and potentially cause a depression. Not too mention the fall out, have you considered that, are you ready for inflation to go through the roof, interest to climb, and your hard earned money to be taxed at 50%. This is going to be the reason to raise taxes just like the Democrats love to do...

    This is going to cost us all more in the long run then it will in the short.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  8. jared

    the foreclosure bail out SUCKS! what about people who paid their bills and were in a home that they could afford but, like myself took a huge pay cut, I could not refi because of the number of foreclosures in my neighrborhood. I am now working my but off, hardly any sleep just to keep up with the bills that I have because interest rates went up on my credit cards because my home went into foreclosure ! The mortgage co would not work with me and then turned around and lowered the price of my home almost 50 thousand dollars, they wouldn't do it for me but, the mortgage co is doing it now just to sell the house. AMERICA STOP GIVING MONIES TO THESE BANKS AND MORTGAGE COMPANIES THAT GOT AMERICA IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE !THEY ARE NOTHING BUT GREEDY CORPORATE DUMMIES !WHO ARE NOW CRYING BECAUSE THEY'RE MISTAKES ARE COMMING BACK TO HAUNT THEM. totally unfair to people who keep their finances straight and had to suffer because of people living beyond their means and corporate greed!

    February 20, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  9. roz

    I live in AZ and believe me I see many foreclosure down my street. This next new stimulus is a JOKE!!! We just keep spending more $$ on a bad management. And by giving a break for people who clearly knew they can't not afford their homes by sign an argeement they knew would expired in 3 to 10 years, should of never bought to begin with. Along with all of the bad management of the 3 auto makers. This is all accounting 101 people if you don't have the funds you can not spend and credit is not always your friend.
    One other point I want to make I am sick of hearing racial remarks on whites and blacks I don't care what color you are, this is what makes this country divided it's alway about color, this white person said that, this black person did that, WE NEED TO STOP DESCRIBING WHAT COLOR A PERSON IS!!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  10. Janice Yeager

    Who was the idiot having a tantrum on the floor of the stockmarket? My husand and I have been home owners for 40 years but realize that something has to be done to help this crisis, yes that is our tax money but so was the first half ( or more ) of the T A R P that disappeared, where was his tantrum then ? Oh thats right, the money didn't go to his neighbors with an extra bathroom, it went to his friends on WALLSTREET who has 5 bathrooms, by the way how many bathrooms does he have?

    February 20, 2009 at 9:50 am |
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